Friday, May 22, 2015

Last Call For The End Of The Center Right Country Myth

Gallup's latest poll of where Americans stand on the liberal/conservative question finds that for the first time in 16 years of the poll, the percentage of Americans calling themselves liberal now equals the percentage of Americans calling themselves conservative.

Thirty-one percent of Americans describe their views on social issues as generally liberal, matching the percentage who identify as social conservatives for the first time in Gallup records dating back to 1999. 
Gallup first asked Americans to describe their views on social issues in 1999, and has repeated the question at least annually since 2001. The broad trend has been toward a shrinking conservative advantage, although that was temporarily interrupted during the first two years of Barack Obama's presidency. Since then, the conservative advantage continued to diminish until it was wiped out this year.

Can we finally put to bed the idiotic "America is a center-right country" myth?  Because America has grown increasingly more liberal over the last 16 years, and we're seeing that today with the question of same-sex marriage before the Supreme Court, a black president now, and a woman the top candidate for the Dems in 2016.

Hopefully we can get things done more in the future.

The Kentucky Job Miracle(!)

Joe Sonka reminds us that in addition to bringing health insurance to 450,000 through the creation of Kynect here in Kentucky, Gov. Steve Beshear has presided over impressive job creation numbers to boot.

The Beshear administration announced this morning that Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate fell to 5.1 percent in March — a drop of over 2 percent in the past year and the lowest rate since the summer of 2001. 
The federal survey of 60,000 households shows that employment increased by 7,353 in March, while the number of unemployed decreased by 2,310. This marks the 23rd straight month in which the ranks of the unemployed has decreased in Kentucky, and the seventh consecutive month where employment has increased. 
The number of unemployed has fallen by more than 120,000 in Kentucky since the height of the Great Recession in 2009. While employment fell steadily in 2014, that number has jolted upward by over 35,000 in the last three months alone.

Kentucky's unemployed has fallen from 225,000 to 100,000, and while the labor force fell by 75,000, it has rebounded in 2015 and has clawed back nearly a third of that number.  All of this is a big deal as the campaign to succeed Beshear gets underway.

The question of whether Kentucky is facing dramatic job growth or job loss has been a major topic of discussion in this year’s gubernatorial campaign. Republican Hal Heiner began running a TV ad last month claiming Kentucky had lost 20,000 jobs over the last two years. His primary opponent James Comer went a step further, claiming Kentucky lost “nearly 50,000 jobs” over that same time period, though his campaign subsequently stopped stating that figure.

As Insider Louisville noted last month, while Heiner’s ad was correct if you only count the number of employed, it neglected to mention the full context of the falling number of unemployed and total labor force. Additionally — using Heiner’s preferred statistics for the “20,000 lost jobs” figure — if you update those figures for the last two years from this March, Kentucky has actually gained 7,671 jobs.

So Kentucky has a lower unemployment rate now than when Beshear took office, and there are fewer unemployed Kentuckians now too. The recovery is real in the Bluegrass State.  Both Matt Bevin and Jim Comer will destroy that recovery if elected, guaranteed.

Jack Conway needs to win in November, period.

Last Call For Detroit Rock (Bottom Housing) City

White people are moving back to, of all cities, Detroit.  The city that became synonymous with "white flight" is now the new hot urban center for white Millennials and Gen Xers, while black families are moving out to the suburbs.

Simple math convinced music producer Mike Seger to move from adjacent Oakland County into a rented two-story house on Detroit's east side that also houses his Get Fresh Studio. Seger, 27, pays $750 per month in rent, and said he wouldn't have been able to find anything comparable in the suburbs for that price. The average monthly rental rate of a three-bedroom single-family home in Detroit is about $800, as opposed to $1,100 to $1,400 in the suburbs, according to, which collects rental market information. 
"A young person can move here with $10,000 and start up a small flex space for artists or artists' studios," Seger said. "It's the uprising of the youth being able to have the opportunities to make a future for themselves." 
Eugene Gualtieri, a 41-year-old lab technician at the Detroit Medical Center, took advantage of an incentive program. Live Midtown, offered by his employer and several others in the Midtown neighborhood, allowed him to take out a $20,000 home loan that he won't have to repay if he stays in his condo for five years. The program is aimed at getting workers to live closer to their jobs, which can benefit employers and employees. 
"The condo is eight minutes from work ... super close, nice neighborhood and really reasonably priced," Gualtieri said. "Like any part of any city, I'm sure there are good parts and bad parts. You just make sure you don't end up in the areas you are not supposed to be in." 
Live Downtown is a similar incentive program offered by employers located in downtown Detroit, which is home to General Motors, Quicken Loans and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Three professional sports teams and stadiums, three casinos, restaurants and bars are entertainment anchors.

That's one side of Detroit.  But for the people already living in mostly black neighborhoods, the talk of incentives and urban renewal is still just that, words.

Blacks appear to be weary of waiting for Detroit to turn things around and have been migrating to nearby suburbs in search of comfort, better schools and lower crime. 
The city's black population was nearly 776,000 in 1990. By 2013 it had dipped to an estimated 554,000. 
Elizabeth St. Clair, 27, and her family may count themselves among black former Detroiters. 
St. Clair and her boyfriend are searching for rental homes in Detroit and several inner-ring suburbs. She has two school-aged children. 
She acknowledges things are getting better — pointing out Detroit's current campaign to tear down vacant houses and eradicate blight. But the high cost of car insurance, underperforming schools and the condition of many neighborhoods are obstacles. 
"As I see a resurgence of Detroit, I really want to stay here," St. Clair said. "I feel there are two Detroits. There's a Detroit where you are able to go downtown and enjoy, and then in our neighborhoods there's not much change."

So the hip downtown entertainment district is getting a facelift, and attracting white people.  But the black folks that already live in Detroit aren't seeing any improvement at all, and they're leaving.

If this seems like this is all being done on purpose, and for a specific reason, you're not alone.


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